The City of Birmingham

We were appointed as wayfinding designers for Birmingham Council's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, a project which was intended to roll out to 87 schools in the area. The first task was to lay down the ground rules; principles upon which each school's designers could develop branding, signage and interpretation. Our Wayfinding Toolkit describes the objectives for BSF, the principles of good wayfinding and the design and technical considerations.


One of the first schools on the programme was Holte, Mayfield Lozells, three schools under a single roof designed by Alsops. There, we helped the architects in managing consultative colour workshops and develop palettes which would integrate the 3 schools, yet retain their distinct identities. Colour is a key tool in wayfinding. Among its uses is to create a mood in and outside a building — the feelings and expectations of a building's users can be very powerfully affected by the palette. From external cladding to wall and floor finishes, even furnishings, the right choice of colour has been an opportunity for the pupils and teachers to engage with the architectural process and 'own' their identity.